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No Human Is Illegal: An Attorney on the Front Lines of the Immigration War

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The perfect author on one of today's hottest topics—an immigration reform lawyer's journalistic memoir of being on the front lines of deportation.

No Human Is Illegal is a powerful document of one lawyer's fight for those seeking a better life in America against its ever-tightening borders. For author Mulligan Sepúlveda, the son and husband of Spanish-speaking immigrants,
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Melville House
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Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
One can't unsee the pictures of what's been going on at the US-Mexico border under Trump, or at various airports when the travel ban came into effect, and circumstances don't look likely to get much better any time soon. As an immigration lawyer, the author has been and continues to be on the frontlines of these events, experiencing horrible, heartbreaking, disillusioning and infuriating treatment of immigrants time and time again. However, he rightly points out that cruel and dehumanizing ...more
I picked this book from the public library's NEW shelf because this is an issue I care deeply about and knew little beyond what I read in the news and columnists' essays. I know little about the law on immigration (though a lot about the current administration's view of it). And to pass up this book is to me an act of saying to an immigrant "you are not worthy of my attention." If nothing else, I can in a sense bear witness.

The first chapter was difficult to read for JJMS just sort of drops the
Christie Bane
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
If I went to law school, I would’ve become an immigration lawyer. I’ve often thought that, because of my interest in — or obsession with — border lands, but after reading this book by an immigration lawyer, I know it for sure. I know it in spite of the fact that being an immigrant lawyer is a thankless, poorly paid, not overly respected, and heartbreaking career.

I’m not going to law school and I’m not going to be an immigration lawyer, but I’m glad I read this book, which takes you behind the
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was looking for a more practical explanation of what a functional immigration system would look like. I was a little disappointed but understanding that especially in the cross-cultural comparison to Europe's refugee crisis, there just might not be a solution. At least not one that lies within the immigration system alone. Mostly this supplied me with enough anecdotes about the treatment of immigrants in detention centers to be sick. I was logically and vaguely aware and opposed to detention ...more
Camille McCarthy
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very timely book because of what is happening at the border. The author is an immigration lawyer and tells of the horrible conditions and choices faced by undocumented people in the US. I especially liked that he included his experiences on the border of Spain and Morocco, as it shows that immigration is not just a US issue and that other countries handle undocumented people much differently, but it is a worldwide problem. After reading this, more than ever I feel that there should be ...more
Melissa McGowan
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an easy and informative read. The author is an immigration attorney who takes the reader from immigration proceedings in New York, to the border between Texas and Mexico, into the detention centers, asylum proceedings, the travel ban and the immediate aftermath at JFK airport, and some international perspective with a trip to Spain and a look at Syrian refugees. He does a good job of layering in historical trends and perspective, without breaking the flow of his narrative.
Susan Jolly
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
Wow... a great book with an insiders perspective of the current immigration crisis. No matter what your current position is on this situation, you cannot read this book without becoming more empathetic with the plight of people seeking asylum to the greatest country in history- America. The most powerful words in the book that will be in my thoughts forever were - when you die citizenship is no longer an issue. Hope more education on this subject will render reforms soon.
Becky Annis
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gives insight into the United States immigration laws and enforcement over the years as well as a close up look at what is happening at the boarder to give people due process when seeking asylum. It does not answer what to do, but does show what we are doing and how in very recent years we have begin treating people less humanely.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I plucked this off a shelf at the library without knowing anything about it, but hoping to better understand our immigration system and the increasing injustice of it. After slogging through the court system and a labyrinth of policy in the first few chapters, the narrative finally gained some traction with the story of Mulligan-Sepulveda’s mother. But the trajectory of the book felt disjointed, even as a sequential telling of events.

There were some piercing accounts like that of a mother and
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J. J. Mulligan Sepúlveda is an immigration lawyer working at the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California Davis School of Law. He is a former Immigrant Justice Corps fellow and Fulbright Scholar. This is his first book.